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Bax: Nonet / Oboe Quintet / Elegiac Trio / Clarinet Sonata / Harp Quintet [Import]

Arnold Bax , The Nash Ensemble Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $21.22 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Bax: Nonet / Oboe Quintet / Elegiac Trio / Clarinet Sonata / Harp Quintet + Bax: Quintet for Harp & Strings / Elegiac Trio / Fantasy-Sonata / Sonata for Flute & Harp
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Product Details

  • Performer: The Nash Ensemble
  • Composer: Arnold Bax
  • Audio CD (March 11, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B000002ZWF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,245 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Nonet: Molto Moderato - Lento
2. Nonet: Allegro - Lento Espressivo
3. Ob Qnt: Tempo Molto Moderato-Allegro Moderato-Tempo Primo
4. Obh Qnt: Lento Espressivo
5. Oboe Quintet: Allegro Giocoso - Piu Lento - Vivace
6. Elegiac Trio: Moderate Tempo-Much Slower
7. Cl Son: Molto Moderato
8. Cl Son: vivace - Pochettino Meno Posso (Lento)
9. Hp Qnt: Tempo Moderato

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This is a very generous collection of the chamber works of Arnold Bax (1883-1953), one of the 20th century favorites of Anglophile music lovers. If you like Bax's late-impressionist style, it's a very attractive collection indeed. The performances are all extremely well played, and the musicians sound as though they had been playing these pieces for years instead of having learned them for a recording session. Hyperion's recording is typically vivid as well. In sum, presuming the music appeals, this is a flawless disc. --Leslie Gerber

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the gentle side of Arnold Bax January 15, 2007
By jsa
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The lyrical intimacy of these chamber works of Arnold Bax are quite a contrast from his massive symphonies and tone poems. In fact, if I'd listened to this disc in a blindfold test I'm not sure I would have guessed who the composer was. Despite the fact that most of the music has an elegiac quality to it - from the haunting opening of the Nonet, to the Harp Quintet - the writing and instrumentation results in a disc of refreshing variety and inspiration. In short, there is plenty of substance to these pieces; and while things never get too relaxed, the overall atmosphere is one of peace and contentment. The programming is exceptional as the compositions work very well together; their order of placement was also well thought out as each flows very well with the next.

The Nash Ensemble is a first rate group that has made many recordings & Hyperion has provided excellent sound. It's hard to believe that this is the first Amazon review of this exceptional release, which Gramophone's reviewer considered nominating for a "Critic's Choice" award in 1995. I put this at the top of my English chamber music cd's.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A better side of Bax July 14, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Even if you're normally not much for Bax, his chamber music can be rewarding. The Nonet is the one usually discussed, but, actually, this disc is a find for other reasons: At the hands of the Nash Ensemble, the Elegiac Trio and the Clarinet Sonata become absolutely gorgeous compositions!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars elegiac and thoughtful, unsurpassed May 14, 2012
Format:Audio CD
I'll say up front, Bax is one of my favorite 20th century composers and much overlooked and underplayed.

Arnold Bax symphonic music, I have been told by musicians, is extremely difficult to play. The moods and tempi are constantly changing. Bax was often trying to describe some ecstatic mystical state, or alternatively, some of his music has an angry brooding quality - he was quite unhappy with the way his native England put down the Irish Rebellion of the early century.

Well the anger of some large symphonic pieces are absent here, perhaps burned-out in the best sense of that phrase. This chamber music is, as is said elsewhere, elegiac and thoughtful. Almost mellow, or as mellow as Bax gets. One imagines an older Bax, sitting, smoking a pipe in front of a roaring fireplace in Morar, writing these. Even if you don't like the Bax symphonies you will find this more peaceful Bax very rewarding.

I have very few chamber pieces in my collection, relative to the large number of major orchestral works, but this is one I come back to over and over.

The Nash Ensemble performance are truely unsurpassed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars chamber music from the mature Bax July 28, 2013
Format:Audio CD
Of the five pieces on this disc, the shortest is about 14 minutes and the longest is just over 18 minutes. I mention this to indicate the judgment that Bax shows in estimating his music's ability to hold his listeners' attention before it becomes tedious. That sounds like a criticism, but I don't mean it that way: Bax had a gift for a vein of melancholy rhapsodic lyricism, and that's a kind of music that can come to seem too much of a good thing, and the things on this disc are all good. He also had a gift for unusual combinations of instruments, and harp, oboe, flute, and clarinet all find themselves in interesting combinations here. My favorite pieces on the disc are the Harp Quintet of 1919 and the Clarinet Sonata of 1934. In the latter, Michael Collins is a superb clarinetist, and Ian Brown matches him. It's the most lively and varied piece too, with a stunning vivace section, and the lyrical sections have a less swooning character than some of Bax's music can have. The Harp Quintet is the one piece where you might sense a folk influence on the main theme (heard to lovely effect about two-and-a-half minutes in from the cello and harp), although to my ears it doesn't sound particularly Irish, for all Bax's self-proclaimed (and quite sincere) Celticism. My preference for these pieces isn't a reflection on the others, which are all lovely, beautifully played by various members of the Nash Ensemble, and which seem to me to owe something to Ravel, though I usually think of Ravel as being a bit more acerbic. A very nice disc, then -- don't play it all at a sitting, for there is a degree of sameness to it -- and the Hyperion sound is top-drawer.
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